Shropshire Star

Roads and rail hit as Shropshire goes on flood alert once more

Shropshire and mid Wales are on flood alert again after the region was hit by heavy rain rather than snow - with train services affected by flooding.

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A flooded road near Knighton photo Don Archer

With fields already saturated, the rain quickly found its way into streams and rivers - levels already high following recent storms.

Flood barriers are going up in Shrewsbury get again and towpaths are closed.

Shropshire Council said Frankwell Riverside car park was partially closed as the Environment Agency installed phase one of the flood barriers. while the exit from Frankwell main car park remained open.

The rail line north of Shrewsbury was also blocked by flooding on Friday.

National Rail says the southbound track between Gobowen and Shrewsbury was closed for a time southbound.

Saturated fields at Rushbury. Photo: Peter Steggles.

Further north, the line between Gobowen and Wrexham was shut because of a signalling problem, with coaches laid on for commuters.

Live flood alerts - updates every 10 minutes:

There are a number of flood alerts in Shropshire including the entire length of the River Severn in the county.

Upstream, the Severn/Vyrnwy confluence is on flood alert and across the Powys border so are the Vyrnwy catchment and the Lower Severn catchment, which all flow into Shropshire's Severn.

Saturated fields near Queens Head. Photo: Graham Mitchell.

The River Teme to the south of the region is badly affected, with the Upper Teme and Lower Teme under flood alerts, along with the River Lugg near Leominster.

At Leintwardine, just over the Shropshire border, roads have turned into rivers with one lorry abandoned overnight.

And West Mercia police had warned that in Worcester the road is closed at Newnham Bridge the A443 junction with A456, where the River Teme has broken its banks and is flowing onto the road.

Other flood alerts are in place for the Ledwyche Brook and River Rea, the Rea Brook and Cound Brook and the Tern and Perry catchments.

There are 81 flood warnings in place across the UK, mostly in the South and Midlands, with just a few in the North, while 294 less severe flood alerts are also in place in England and 19 flood alerts are in force in Wales.

The number of warnings is subject to change as the UK Government’s online flood system is updated regularly.

Dozens of schools were closed on Thursday in northern England and North Wales and travel disruption was reported throughout the day as amber weather warnings were issued.

Heavy snow in Allenheads, Northumberland
Heavy snow in Allenheads, Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

It comes after 10cm of snow was measured by the Met Office in Kirkwall, Orkney, on Thursday, while 9cm was recorded in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

A total of 43.2mm of rainfall was measured in Harbertonford, south Devon, almost half the average for the area in February.

Disruption was also reported by Great Western Railway on the line between Bath and Swindon due to flooding.

Met Office operational meteorologist Dan Stroud previously said temperatures in the early hours of Thursday reached a low of minus 13.8C in Altnaharra, in the Scottish Highlands, while Exeter reached a high of 13.6C later in the day.

He said: “We’ve still got rain and many have snow making its way northwards, we have got further weather warnings in force.

“Temperatures are recovering a little, across the far south it’s generally mild.

“We’ve got a second band of cloud and rain moving northwards, it makes for challenging driving conditions.

“We’ve had the worst of it but it’s still not completely clear. Where we have falling snow we see there is a risk of a few icy patches on roads.

“The focus is probably starting to shift more towards ice, people should still be cautious.”

A snowboarder takes to a hill in Northumberland
A snowboarder takes to a hill in Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

School closures were reported on Thursday in Wales, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cumbria.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, urged older people to do all they can to keep warm and safe as the temperature drops.

She said: “High energy bills and food prices mean it is understandable that some may think they have to cut back on food and turn their heating off, but prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can have a serious impact on their health, especially if they are already managing existing illnesses.

“As we get older our bodies find it harder to adjust to big changes in temperature, particularly if we are also coping with ill health or mobility issues. The cold raises blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.”

The charity gave a number of tips including plenty of hot food and drinks, wrapping up warm outside and sleeping with the windows closed at night. It also advised people to keep an eye on older relatives, friends and neighbours.